Submitted by Andrea Schuck, CCFD Public Information Officer
Engineer/Driver Michael Camelo Jr. was born and raised in Cape Coral. He essentially grew up in a Cape Coral firehouse with his father, Michael Camelo, Sr., who retired in 2013 as a Cape Coral Fire Lieutenant after 36 years of service. After graduating from Mariner High School and working for ~7 years as a manager at Publix, Camelo followed the call of the fire service and began his career as a firefighter with the Cape Coral Fire Department on February 27, 2006.
On February 10, 2018, he was promoted to Fire Engineer/Driver. He was also a Paramedic, a Hazardous Materials Technician, a Public Safety Boat Operator, a member of the Firefighter Survival and Rapid Intervention Team, and served on the Honor Guard. Camelo was committed to continuing his education and ensuring he stayed apprised of advancements in the fire service. He received an A.S. in Fire Service from Columbia Southern University in 2017 and held Fire Officer I, Fire Safety Inspector I, Instructor I, and Live Fire Training Instructor I certifications.
Camelo’s enthusiasm for training reached far beyond the Cape Coral Fire Department. He was a Basic Life Support (BLS) Instructor, teaching countless citizens the lifesaving procedure of CPR. He was a beloved instructor for the Cape Coral Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), training them in basic disaster response skills, specifically, search and rescue and disaster medical operations.
Since 2013, Camelo was an instructor at the Fort Myers Fire Academy. The impact he had on the young recruits coming through the Academy is immeasurable. He was one of the Academy’s best adjunct instructors. He consistently maintained a positive attitude, was extremely motivated and was always willing to go the extra mile for the students.
In April, Camelo attended Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) International as a recipient of the Honeywell-DuPont 2018 Scholarship. FDIC International is the fire service’s premier source of advanced training on firefighting tools, tactics and safety for first responders, and the Honeywell-DuPont Scholarship is a prestigious honor. Scholarship recipients are nominated by their peers and awarded by an independent panel; only 20 first responders throughout the country were selected.
While these are all impressive accomplishments, Camelo was proudest of being a father to his two children, Anna and Michael Camelo, III.
On May 31 at 2:52 pm, surrounded by his family and friends and with members of the Cape Coral Fire Department standing vigil, Engineer Camelo succumbed to the effects of a brain aneurysm. His funeral was on June 7 with approximately 1000 people in attendance and over 30 apparatus from the five-county region joining in the procession.
“Engineer Camelo was beloved by his family, his fellow Brothers and Sisters, and the community,” said Fire Chief Ryan Lamb. “He was involved in every facet of the organization and was fiercely dedicated to the fire service. His loss will not only be felt by his family and the CCFD but the entire Southwest Florida community.”
Michael Camelo, Jr. was the epitome of a Hometown Hero. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his wife, his kids, his extended family and friends throughout Southwest Florida and the firefighting community.